I strongly sense that Vietnamese and Vietnam, in general, strive to be a “better” or Teacher I’ll be there for you from home shirt more acceptable, popular, well-loved version of China. And Vietnam wants to be accepted by the world as a more amicable country. This is why Vietnam actually is a much more open society, encouraging tourism, foreign exchanges, and participation in foreign social media despite also having our own. In general, many Vietnamese have great respect for the way the Chinese organized their country, in what I call (a term I made up) Hanist authoritarianism. But actually Vietnamese society is more rebellious than the Chinese one. Because historically Vietnamese organized ourselves into villages with a local chief and local administration. The villages always stood up against the central government, which became a tradition in Vietnamese culture. This is why we actually have a saying –
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The law of the Teacher I’ll be there for you from home shirt emperor is second to the law of the village. Even until today, local police clash with villagers all the time. So the Vietnamese government is actually softer and Western-leaning than many people actually realize. And the U.S is not a great enemy of Vietnam like many people think. It is rather treated as another power that has the ability to challenge China and one that we can also draw inspiration from. The US-style government offers some inspirations to the Vietnamese government on how to be softer, more personable, more relatable to the public, as opposed to China’s draconian style of leadership.